Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on public mental health. Therefore, monitoring and oversight of the population mental health during crises such as a panedmic is an immediate priority. The aim of this study is to analyze the existing research works and findings in relation to the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression in the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, articles that have focused on stress and anxiety prevalence among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic were searched in the Science Direct, Embase, Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science (ISI) and Google Scholar databases, without a lower time limit and until May 2020. In order to perform a meta-analysis of the collected studies, the random effects model was used, and the heterogeneity of studies was investigated using the I2 index. Moreover. data analysis was conducted using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) software.
Results: The prevalence of stress in 5 studies with a total sample size of 9074 is obtained as 29.6% (95% confidence limit: 24.3-35.4), the prevalence of anxiety in 17 studies with a sample size of 63,439 as 31.9% (95% confidence interval: 27.5-36.7), and the prevalence of depression in 14 studies with a sample size of 44,531 people as 33.7% (95% confidence interval: 27.5-40.6).
Conclusion: COVID-19 not only causes physical health concerns but also results in a number of psychological disorders. The spread of the new coronavirus can impact the mental health of people in different communities. Thus, it is essential to preserve the mental health of individuals and to develop psychological interventions that can improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Depression; General population; Meta-analysis; Prevalence; Stress; Systematic review.